Jul 18, 2016
18
2
Status
Pre-Optometry, Pre-Pharmacy
Hi there,

I'm a Canadian applicant and I'm wondering about what life is like during optometry school. My schools of choice are NECO, ICO, PCO, and NOVA.

If there's any Canadians reading this that's studying in the states, how often do you come back to Canada? From looking at the academic calendars, optometry students get a 2-week break between terms and no summers off. This doesn't seem like a lot of time to see friends and family. I know optometry school will be super busy and rigorous but will it be so busy that you don't have time to travel back to Canada to visit family on occasional weekends or long weekends?

Thank you
 
Dec 7, 2014
37
10
Status
Optometry Student
Hey there! I'm a Canadian studying in the states. The time you get off varies between schools. We get 1 week off after each quarter and I've flown home each time for that, plus Thanksgiving we get a week, as well as 2 weeks at Christmas and 3 months off for summer after first year that I went home for. Depending on how close you live to the school, there could be some random weekends where you could visit home, however I didn't think flying home for 2 days would be worth it. Also some of my classmates who lived within driving distance of the school would go home on a lot of weekends and it sort of hurt them academically. It's really up to you and how comfortable you feel in your time management skills. A random weekend every month or 2 wouldn't hurt too much though.
 
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Phil81kessel

2+ Year Member
Feb 5, 2016
9
3
I just started at NECO!!! I am pretty excited and it really is a different life here. To answer your question, you can go home as much as youd like except you would have to manage your studying and tests around it. I am going home this month (September) and I also plan to go home Canadian and American thanksgiving along with Christmas holidays (I'm going home a lot this first semester lol). I realize that I will not be able to do this second year so I am making the most of it now. With that being said, it is a huge adjustment from undergrad. More classes, more lecture time, more lab time and now you have clinic. You live optometry here. The curriculum builds on itself and you learn valuable skills here at NECO from day 1. I made sure I don't have tests, quizzes, clinic or labs during the times I am going home and have been studying hard to make up for it.

I hope I was helpful to you, feel free to message me directly for more information!! Good Luck
 
OP
E
Jul 18, 2016
18
2
Status
Pre-Optometry, Pre-Pharmacy
I just started at NECO!!! I am pretty excited and it really is a different life here. To answer your question, you can go home as much as youd like except you would have to manage your studying and tests around it. I am going home this month (September) and I also plan to go home Canadian and American thanksgiving along with Christmas holidays (I'm going home a lot this first semester lol). I realize that I will not be able to do this second year so I am making the most of it now. With that being said, it is a huge adjustment from undergrad. More classes, more lecture time, more lab time and now you have clinic. You live optometry here. The curriculum builds on itself and you learn valuable skills here at NECO from day 1. I made sure I don't have tests, quizzes, clinic or labs during the times I am going home and have been studying hard to make up for it.

I hope I was helpful to you, feel free to message me directly for more information!! Good Luck
About the workload, do you think there will be time for part-time work like work-study? Schooling in states is super expensive and it might actually prevent me from doing Optometry since it's so expensive and Waterloo is super competitive lol
 

ODpookie

2+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2015
75
41
Status
Pre-Optometry
About the workload, do you think there will be time for part-time work like work-study? Schooling in states is super expensive and it might actually prevent me from doing Optometry since it's so expensive and Waterloo is super competitive lol
First year at ICO here! Because ICO has 3 tests a week on top of assignments and lab and clinic stuff, most people stay at the residence on weekends unless you live close by or its a long weekend. I am a Canadian and haven't gone home yet this semester. Almost everyone is planning on going home for the break between fall and winter quarters (10 days in November) as well as christmas break and the other quarter breaks, but as a Canadian you don't really have time to go home on weekends or long weekends just because flying takes so much time and there is so much to do. We do get the first summer off (3 months) so that is always a plus and after that it's back to going home between quarters! A lot of people are doing work study jobs already and a lot of the positions really are work STUDY. Aka you can sit there and study while you get paid. Some are more work than others but as long as you manage your time wisely it is definitely doable. The price difference between here and waterloo hurts (especially if you add in the conversion) but in my opinion it's worth it in the long haul.